C-5As for CRAF?

Lockheed Martin officials have been talking with cargo companies and the Air Force about putting retiring C-5As into the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, says Mark Johnston, the company’s director of government air mobility programs. “We just think there’s a better plan for them than to put them in AMARC,” he told reporters last week at the company’s aircraft plant in Marietta, Ga. AMARC is the Air Force’s final resting place for old airframes at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. Johnston said the 22 C-5As that the Air Force plans to take out of service have “nothing wrong with them.” It’s just that USAF has overcapacity in strategic lift due to the unrequested purchases of additional C-17s over the last few years. Johnston said there’s definitely a market for commercial oversize/outsize airlift. A freight company might want to buy some of the C-5As from the Air Force and then upgrade their avionics and give them new engines and reliability enhancements on Lockheed’s existing modification lines to make them better performers, he said.